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Preparing to be a successful single parent - Part I

If you and your romantic partner have recently parted ways, you may be feeling frazzled. After all, breakups are notoriously difficult processes, even when children are not involved. However, if you are a parent to minor children, you are likely facing uniquely challenging breakup-related difficulties. Among these difficulties is the transition to newly single parenthood.

Thankfully, single parenthood can be a truly rewarding experience. Although single parents are practically required to be responsible individuals, the weight of this responsibility does not need to be unduly burdensome. With some careful planning and attention to your own needs, as well as the needs of your children, you can make your transition to single parenthood surprisingly successful.

One of the things that single parents do not often prioritize is their own needs. However, it is important to attend to your own needs, as you cannot adequately take care of your children if your own needs are suffering.

When struggling with the idea of taking the time to take good care of yourself, remind yourself of the following imagery: When oxygen masks fall from the overhead compartments of an airplane, adults are advised to fasten their own masks before fastening their children’s masks. The reason for this particular order is simple. If a parent does not fasten his or her own mask first, that parent may collapse before he or she can attend to the children properly. If the parent first attends to his or her own oxygen needs, that parent will remain capable of taking care of any children nearby.

When you take good care of yourself, you place yourself in the best possible position to take good care of your children during your transition into single parenthood and beyond.

Please check back, as we will be continuing our discussion on successful transitions to single parenthood in a later post.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What a Single Mom Needs,” Lisa Dubino, Dec. 7, 2015

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